Friday, June 29, 2018

Newest Puppy Adventure

New fosters! Cricket is a great little Mama dog and, as opposed to the Kaylee last year, she doesn't mind if Bennie plays with the pups. Anything that keeps them out of her fur is fine by her. She's letting us know, in no uncertain terms, that the pups are growing up and won't be needing her too much longer. 

Cricket getting to know us.

Cricket and Bennie got along from the very beginning! Bennie didn't even bark when we came home with another dog. We introduced the two adult dogs before bringing in the pups.

And the pups! No names yet, but 4 females and 1 male. They are full of energy.

Cricket is curious about the chickens.

The hens' look of dismay when seeing 5 more dogs in the family.

And Uncle Bennie is fulfilling his duty by playing with the pups and letting them climb all over him. He's so patient with the little ones! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

One More Try - new chicken nesting boxes

Well, we've got a couple of new nesting boxes made in hopes that the hens will not be able to reach their eggs. It's kind of hard to see, but those are paint roller pans in the boxes. The idea is that the hens will lay an egg, then the egg rolls down the slope to the tray. We'll see if the hens will use it! 

See! Under the board, there's an egg. Okay, this is a fake egg, just to make sure we got the measurements right and it will fit.

The hen is still setting on her golf balls and she was not thrilled with being moved out of the way for the boxes.

Chicken Hill

Friday, June 1, 2018

Cannibal Chicken Update

We've managed to get our daily egg tally up to 5 or 6, only when we're able to check for eggs every 15 minutes or so, especially in the morning. One day, we brought in 8 eggs because I checked so often, I practically caught them before they hit the floor.

Chris is letting the hens out of the smaller chicken yard so they can eat the weeds during the day. They love it and they repay us by laying eggs in places where we'll never find them. A few hens have stayed loyal to the nests in the chicken house and that's where we get our eggs each day. One black and white Barred Rock hen has become broody. She sits on the nest all day and, as soon as another chicken lays an egg near the nest, she tucks it under her. She's as loyal to those eggs as Horton the elephant was to his.

For better or for worse, most of her "eggs" are golf balls.

Yesterday I went out and heard the distinct cackle of a hen in distress. Our broody Barred Rock was running towards the gate, towards me, making all sorts of racket. I crouched down and she actually came up next to me and continued cackling. Huh. Our hens are not pets. They are used to us and know we feed them, but other than that, they can take us or leave us. I've never before had one come to report a problem. I figured I'd better check things out.

Sure enough, some rude hen had stolen her nest and was sitting on HER golf balls - I mean strangely shaped eggs. 

I thought about it for a minute and realized our broody hen was WHY we were able to keep some eggs from getting eaten each day. She was protecting them. Oddly enough, she doesn't seem to mind when I pick her up every 20 minutes and take the real eggs. As long as I leave the golf balls under her, she's happy.

I shooed the other hen off the nest and left Ms Broody happily hunkered down on her eggs again. We've got a good thing going with her and she deserves a little reward.